Macron Supports Strikes Against Alleged Chemical Weapon Storages in Syria


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says he would favor targeted strikes against stockpiles of chemical weapons that allegedly remain in Syria, if he were elected president.

“I am ready for us to take on our responsibilities, under the UN mandate rather, that is to say targeted strikes to destroy stocks of chemical weapons [in Syria],” Macron said on France 2 TV late on Thursday, as quoted by Le Huffington Post, specifying that he would have preferred that US strikes were carried out in cooperation with allies.

According to a Wednesday Harris Interactive poll for LCP broadcaster, Macron remains in the lead ahead of the first round of French presidential elections scheduled for Sunday.

The Syrian opposition has blamed the alleged chemical weapon attack on the town of Khan Sheikhun in Syria’s Idlib province earlier this month that killed at least 80 people on troops loyal to the Syrian government. Damascus denied any wrongdoing, saying militants and their foreign allies were responsible.

An investigation by the UN-backed Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) then found traces of sarin-like substance on the victims’ bodies. The probe is still underway.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was using its line of contact with Damascus to urge it to fully cooperate with the OPCW, which announced in January 2016 that Syria’s chemical weapon arsenal had been completely destroyed.

The United States targeted a Syrian military airfield with cruise missile strikes after the April 4 incident in Idlib claiming that the launch of 59 Tomohawk missiles at the Ash Sha’irat base was a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

© Sputnik/ Irina Kalashnikova

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